A Series of Sighs

Recently became painfully aware of how often I do things out of politeness and the desire to seem appeasable even if it’s at my own expense (heavy sigh). What makes this even more frustrating is that I’m fully aware of how gendered this mannerism is (heavier sigh).

There’s this theory called panopticism that was developed by a French philosopher named Michel Foucault. The theory is based on a scenario where there’s this prison with a watchtower at the center and all of the inmates are in separate open-air cells surrounding it. These super powerful floodlights shine down from the watchtower onto the prisoners so they can’t ever tell if someone is in the tower or not. Because they can’t see inside the tower the prisoners behave as if they are constantly being watched regardless of if they actually are.

I can’t put my finger on exactly why this correlates to what I was saying about acting against your own self-interest in the name of politeness but I’m positive it does. Maybe it’s because of the constant feeling that being disagreeable somehow lowers a person’s a woman’s self worth and someone somewhere has to be keeping score because otherwise why would we all collectively put up with this nonsense?

It’s very annoying that women are socially trained to please, even more annoying that I haven’t taken the time to analyze how much it impacts my daily behavior and decision making (heaviest sigh).

Today on #MentalHealthDay, even though there’s only 40 minutes left of it, I’m going out of my way to cut the crap and you should too.


– Liz

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